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All breeds of dogs have their own breed specific behaviour and/or health issues. This fact holds true for Dachshunds as well. Following is a look at five of the most common Dachshund problems, and advice on how to deal with them.
- 1 5 Common Dachshund Problems – Health and Behaviour
- 2 3 Simple Tips To Stop Your Dachshund Barking
- 3 Dachshund Puppy Training
- 4 Housebreaking a Dachshund – 3 Tips For Success
- 5 Stop a Dog Digging with These Easy Tips
- 6 Hire A Dog Walker
- 7 Tire Your Dog Before Going To Work
- 8 Invest In Fun Dog Toys
- 9 Get A Second Dog For Companionship
- 10 Be Patient!
5 Common Dachshund Problems – Health and Behaviour
Because of their famous “hot dog” shape, Dachshunds are prone to back problems, particularly slipped and ruptured disks. To prevent serious, long-term back problems, consider the following:
- Jumping – The more the dog jumps up, such as on to furniture, the more stress this puts on his spine and back legs.
- Obesity – Just as with humans, the more overweight the dog is, the more stress this places on his back.
- Carrying – When picking up your Dachshund, you will always need to remember to support his whole back, and it’s probably best to discourage very young children from picking them up at all.
Intervertebral Disk Disease
Some Dachshunds suffer from a hereditary disk problem called Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVD).
Some of the symptoms of IVD are:
- Crying in pain spontaneously or from being picked up.
- Decreased appetite.
- Lying around more than usual and just generally reluctant to move about.
Symptoms could be mild or severe. Less severe cases can be treated with medication alone, but sometimes surgery will be required. Before purchasing a Dachshund puppy find out if both parents have been screened for this disease.
This should have been done when they were around 2 years of age. Ask to see the veterinary certificates as proof of screening. Reputable breeders of dog breeds prone to IVD would not mate their intended breeding stock before screening age.
It is not possible to go into more detail about this disease here. Besides, as a Dachshund owner you need to be guided by your vet. He or she will give you the best advice and tell you exactly what symptoms you should be looking for.
There is absolutely no need to worry or assume that your Dachshund will get IVD. More than likely he won’t, but it is advisable to be aware of this disease.
Dachshunds are proud little creatures who are known to sometimes have a streak of stubbornness in their personalities. When you train your Dachshund praise him enthusiastically whenever he does what you ask of him.
If you indulge his stubbornness when he is a puppy, you’re setting yourself up for a long, hard battle of the wills later on in life.
Born to Dig
Greyhounds might be born to run, but Dachshunds are born to dig. They were bred to be hunting dogs, and that long, low body easily wiggles into rabbit and badger holes. As a result, a Dachshund might decide to add decorative new holes all over your backyard.
To prevent their digging, make sure your Dachshund has lots of alternative forms of stimulation, such as regular long walks, interesting chew toys, and so forth. If that doesn’t work, try putting up a barrier of chicken wire where you don’t want the Dachshund to dig.
Another common Dachshund problem is aggression. Ralph likes to bark at EVERYTHING. People think he is as big as a rottweiler and then laugh when they see his little sausage body. By training your dog and ensuring you let them know what they are doing is wrong then you can overcome this.
Socializing your dog with others from a young age helps them get along with dogs. This also helps prevent your dog from becoming overly aggressive at an older age. Ralph however likes to let everyone know he is there.
Be loving but firm with your puppy from the day you bring him home. Teach him basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come and heel, and avoid common Dachshund problems involving stubbornness or aggression by showing your puppy that you are the alpha leader.
3 Simple Tips To Stop Your Dachshund Barking
Ralph is suddenly alerted to a noise that came from the back yard. He rushes to the window to investigate the potential intrusion to his territory; the squirrel in the back yard doesn’t hear the dachshund barking with all of his muster.
As the squirrel climbs up a tree and out of sight, Mr. Kipper stills barks uncontrollably at his unseen enemy.
Many people who have dachshunds can relate similar stories of their headstrong little dog, with a big dog voice and attitude, barking at nearly everything that moves.
Unfortunately, not much can be done about Mr. Kipper barking at potential prey, but let us examine three approaches that can help control barking in other dachshunds.
Start Discipline Training as a Puppy
A well trained dog is more likely to listen when you call him or command him to stop barking. Start training early (by 3-6months old) with basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “down”, and “come.”
Short training sessions, around 5-10 minutes, work best. Use lots of praise, treats and positive reinforcement when the behaviour is correctly accomplished.
Interacting early with your dachshund will begin to set the rules on who is the alpha, encouraging a good pattern of behaviour early and allowing the puppy to understand his rank in the new pack.
Remember that puppy attention span is not the greatest, so training should end when the puppy begins to lose interest. The goal here is to set good patterns of behaviour and obedience early. Then you will find that these good habits will follow through to adulthood and reduce bad behaviours like biting, chewing and barking.
Ready on Command
Dachshunds were bred for the hunt, displaying bravery with their short, powerful legs by pursuing small animals like badgers, even chasing them into their burrows. Being a high-energy dog, today’s dachshunds need plenty of exercise since they most likely are not chasing down prey on the hunt, but rather are laying around the house bored. Keeping a dachshund fit will make it a bit easier train even when trying to clicker train your dachshund.
Using a clicker or other device that makes a sharp, short sound is a method of associating commands with the sound of the clicker. The clicker signals that something else requires their attention and a reward is at hand – if the correct behaviour is accomplished.
This works very well for the dachshund, much like Pavlov’s dog reacting to a bell. The trick, however, is to not let the dachshund outsmart you by purposefully barking just to get the click and possible reward.
Ignore Me When I Bark
The happy dance a dachshund displays on your return home is heart warming, but can be a trying experience accompanied by annoying barking and jumping. Much of that can be traced back to you making a big deal to your dachshund that you are leaving or returning home.
The extra anxiety pent up explodes into barking that seems to never calm down. In this case, your dachshund learned that barking on return (or departure) gets him praise or treats. This is where reverse psychology is needed. Control dachshund barking by ignoring him until calm. Once the correct behaviour is there, only then slather on the praise.
Dachshund Puppy Training
Dachshund puppy training can be a bit of a challenge, however the dachshund’s instinct to hunt, a tendency to be stubborn, and at times aggressive, means that training is absolutely essential.
The Dachshund was originally bred for hunting burrowing animals like badgers and rabbits, but they were also used to hunt foxes, and in large packs, even wild boars.
This is probably why they are very determined little dogs and could also explain their stubborn streak.
You must show your dachshund puppy right from the word go that there are rules to follow and that you are the pack leader.
Praise and Reward Your Puppy
Training puppies should start early, at eight to twelve weeks. First, let the puppy become familiar with his environment and explore the whole house if he wants to. Be sure to accompany him to keep him out of trouble.
Reinforcing good behaviour with rewards is the best way to gradually train a puppy. Dachshunds are very intelligent and even at a very young age understand and enjoy praise.
You are the leader of the puppy’s pack, and can establish this firmly without excessive force or violence. Don’t yell or hit your puppy, after all, training should be fun. It is very important that the puppy knows what is expected of him even if it is just for a short time each day.
It may seem like he is determined not to get trained, but give him time. He will come to learn what is expected of him, especially if a treat is given every time.
When your puppy is determined to chew on one of your favorite shoes firmly say “NO” and gently remove it from his mouth. A firm tone of voice is all that is required.
Yelling at your puppy will intimidate him and could make him fearful of you.
Find a place for the potty area that is not near his food or water. Put a plastic sheet down on the floor and spread several layers of newspaper on top. Soon after eating or drinking or any other time you feel your puppy needs to relieve himself, put him on the paper.
Do not remove all the soiled newspaper, but leave some and spread fresh paper on top. This will leave a scent which will remind your puppy where to ‘go potty’ next time.
Taking your puppy outside to relieve himself should be done at regular times throughout the day. Remember that he will want to relieve himself about 15 minutes after eating or drinking, but sometimes the urge comes on a lot sooner. Best to take him outside as soon as you are sure he has finished.
Dachshunds were bred for digging in the ground to hunt. If you have a beautiful garden that you don’t want disturbed, you will need to train your dachshund puppy not to dig.
Try burying his faeces in the places he likes to dig. When he finds it he should stop digging there. If possible, give him a spot in the garden where he is allowed to dig. Use the firm “NO” again when he is digging in the wrong place, and gently take him to his own digging place.
Dachshund puppy training takes perseverance, but a well behaved Dachshund is a great family pet.
Housebreaking a Dachshund – 3 Tips For Success
The Dachshund is a dog with a unique and loveable personality. Their short-legged stature does not foretell a mild doggy attitude. They were bred to hunt badger, a particularly fierce animal.
The Dachshund is a breed with an independent, sometimes stubborn nature so housebreaking a Dachshund is sometimes a difficult process. Positive reinforcement, consistency and the use of a crate will however aid the training process considerably.
Tip 1. Crate Training
Dachshunds generally do not like to ‘go potty’ outside if its raining or snowing. Indoor potty pads are an option, however trainers generally recommend against using pads as a toilet alternative. Pads only complicate outside potty training.
A crate is useful for housebreaking puppies and older dogs. Crates are not a containment area, prison and should not be used for punishment. It will be seen as a den, a place where your dog can relax and feel safe. Doxies prefer a clean den and resist soiling their home.
The crate should allow the dog to stand and lie comfortably. A large crate for a small dog leaves extra space that could result in an accident. Dachshund puppies have small bladders and need to be led outside before going into the crate and immediately when coming out.
This could also be true for older dogs in need of housebreak training. However, older dogs could stay in the crate for up to six hours, puppies no more than one hour.
Tip 2. Positive Reinforcement
Dog owners should remain patient when housebreaking a Dachshund. Remember, the Dachshund is a stubborn breed and more difficult to potty train than some dogs.
It is very important never to hit your dog or rub his nose in the mess. Clean the accident immediately after it happens and move on.
Dogs respond to positive reinforcement. Each time your Dachshund successfully goes potty outside, the behaviour should be followed by ample praise and a treat. He will soon learn that going outside is followed by something good and tasty.
Tip 3. Consistency
Dachshund’s are intelligent and learn quickly when training is patterned by a consistent routine. Young puppies can only ‘hold on’ for short periods of time and must be led outside frequently. This could include one or two trips during the night.
The best time to take your dog outside to relieve himself is after meals, playtime and sleep. As your dachshund grows to maturity, he will be able to hold on to his bladder all night.
Housebreaking a Dachshund is sometimes complicated by their stubborn natures, however, consistency, positive reinforcement, patience and crate training all work together to simplify the process.
Stop a Dog Digging with These Easy Tips
Dogs dig for 1 of 2 reasons – they simply love to dig, or they’re bored and in need of exercise.
To stop a dog digging holes in your garden, you’ll need to determine in which of the 2 categories your dog belongs before you can take effective action.
Following are a couple of solutions to stop your dog digging that are guaranteed to work and guaranteed to keep your garden looking beautifully.
Reason # 1 – For The Love of Digging
It’s relatively easy to figure out under which category your dog falls. If your dog digs whether you’re home or not and no matter how much exercise he gets, then it means he just loves digging. Terriers are breeds that have been bred to dig into tunnels to pull out vermin. In general, terrier dogs tend to dig for the fun of it.
Terriers are working dogs and always need some “work” to do. So if you’ve got a breed with Terrier mix, you can expect he’ll want to dig just for fun. Terriers aren’t the only dogs that dig.
Still, this is no consolation to you when you’ve discovered that your dog has dug up your prized garden. If you have a Terrier, you’ll want to find a solution fast!
Reason #2 – Anxiety and Boredom
At a minimum, all dogs need to be walked for 30 minutes a day. High energy dogs need to be walked 1 hour a day or taken to a dog run where they can roughhouse with other dogs. A dog that doesn’t get mental and physical stimulation, will become bored and anxious.
A bored dog will have pent up energy and he’ll look for an outlet in which to release this excess energy. Unfortunately for you, your garden will be his target. His digging behaviour is a sign that he needs more stimulation in his life.
Remedies For The Dog That Digs For Fun
For the dog that digs for fun, your challenge as a dog owner is to redirect his digging by implementing the following procedures:
- Supervise your dog when he’s in your backyard until you’ve trained him to dig in designated areas.
- Use deterrents such as cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper liberally around the soil where you don’t want your dog to dig. His mucous membranes will become irritated, and he’ll back off fast.
- Place dog poop down in areas where you want him to keep his distance. However, if your dog likes to eat poop, this method may not work.
- Designate a section in the yard where your dog will be allowed to dig. Section off your prized garden area first. Then, start digging a hole in the designated area of the yard and bury a bone in the hole. Call your dog over and let him watch you bury it. Then encourage him to dig it up. Praise him when he does. He’ll always expect something to be in that hole for him to dig up going forward.
- Place chicken wire under the soil where you most want to protect your garden. The chicken wire is highly effective, but of course its not practical to place it under your lawn, which is what your dog will start tearing up if it cant dig up your garden.
Solutions For the Dog That’s Bored or Anxious
For the dog that’s anxious or bored, you must take him to the dog run and let him run around for at least an hour. If there are other dogs in the dog run, that’s even better.
Dogs tend to tire quickly when they roughhouse with one another. A simple walk won’t do. Your dog needs to run around with other dogs.
Hire A Dog Walker
Remember, dogs are pack animals. They need to be around other dogs or humans, and they need exercise..lots of it! So if you’re gone all day at work and too busy or tired when you get home, then you need to at least find a dog walker that can come to your home and pick up your dog for a long walk.
Dog walkers are relatively cheap. If you can’t afford a dog walker and work close by, maybe you could come home during lunch time and walk him yourself.
Either way, your dog can’t be left alone for prolonged periods of time, or he will become bored and anxious. He’ll even start destroying your furniture!
Tire Your Dog Before Going To Work
If you exercise your dog by taking him to the dog run or for a long walk before you leave for work, he will most likely fall asleep for a few hours – at least until lunch time. Then, if possible, come home and play with him during your lunch hour.
Stimulate his mind as well. Implement a 15 minute dog training session with him and be sure to praise him lavishly during these sessions.
Invest In Fun Dog Toys
Buy your dog some toys that will keep him preoccupied while you’re gone.
Its generally best to purchase toys made specifically for dogs as most of them are made of material that can take a lot of punishment.
The main thing is to provide toys that wont cause an intestinal blockage if ingested. Dog toys made of hard rubber that you can put treats in are a great choice. They will keep your pooch busy for hours.
Get A Second Dog For Companionship
You really need to think carefully about this suggestion before going out and getting another dog. Although having a companion is an excellent idea, it’s also an expensive one. You also have to keep in mind that picking the right dog with the right temperament is crucial. The two dogs have to get along well before you leave them alone together. Otherwise, you may come home to find one of the dogs injured, or worse!
If you think you would like to introduce another dog into the family, take your first dog with you when going to pick out your new dog. Let them play with each other for a while, then arrange to come back a second time to let them play some more. If you have socialized your first dog properly, he will probably get along well with any dog, but be very wary and observe the way the new dog interacts with your dog at all times during both visits, before making a decision.
Hopefully, this advice will help you towards putting an end to your dog’s digging. Remember to be patient and give him enough time to learn new and acceptable behaviours in the garden. Now that you know how to stop a dog digging, you can put these techniques into practice, and your dog will be much happier too.